#GivingTuesday. Millennials. Brands.

CAREER & BUSINESS November 2, 2015

#GivingTuesday is just around the corner! How is your brand planning to engage Millennials?

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday was created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y – a cultural center in NYC that brings people together around the values of service and giving back. It’s a day when people come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. This year, it will happen on December 1st.

#GivingTuesday Works!

In 2013, #GivingTuesday donations totaled $19 million. In 2014, $45.68 million – that’s a 60% increase!

Millennials and Giving

Millennials have patterns of behavior that are different from previous generations because they were raised online and grew up able to consume media anytime, anywhere.

Because of their civic-mindedness, Millennials have been dubbed the “giving generation,” but how can organizations engage and motivate their participation? Millennials are reshaping charity and online giving because they prefer to consider their contributions as an investment in a cause they care about instead of a “donation.”

Millennials and Social Media

The latest research from GfK MRI indicates that Millennials play a dominant role on many of the top social media sites, representing 70% of Instagram users and 61% of Twitter users. It’s a no-brainer that if you’re trying to reach Millennials, your brand needs to be on social media.

Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

This generation is spurred to action by their peers…not by authority figures. Last year’s Ice Bucket Challenge epitomized peer-to-peer fundraising and, to some extent, peer pressure.

People were called out online, in a public forum. If someone challenged you, you were almost duty bound to accept or live with a certain digital awkwardness. While no one quite knows how to galvanize the next Ice Bucket Challenge, there are any number of ways to craft a peer-to-peer program that can be shared through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

The key is to create initiatives that resonate with Millennials. Your brand must offer your potential champions appropriate tools and the freedom to be creative. Peer-to-peer fundraising isn’t about your brand. It’s about supporters, it’s about the cause. If supporters can turn an organizational fundraising drive into something personal, they’ll embrace it as their own.

Switching Brands to Those That Help

According to the 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact Study, 89% of U.S. consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause. Millennials are even more likely to switch to brands tied to good causes. This generation uses social media to learn about and engage brands that support social and environmental causes.

Tips To Engage Millennials on #GivingTuesday

  • Select a non-profit that your brand will support on #GivingTuesday.

  • Explain why your brand is supporting the cause.

    • Does it align with your brand beliefs, values, mission, etc?

    • Does it resonate with Millennials?

      • Causes that Millennials care about include saving the environment, feeding the hungry, and alleviating poverty.

  • Promote your campaign on social media, using #GivingTuesday and tagging the non-profit your brand is supporting.

  • On social media, share results of your #GivingTuesday campaign and thank donors. 

#GivingTuesday Is Just the Beginning

Continue developing on-going relationships with Millennials by doing good. Be a purpose-driven business with aims higher than making a profit. Your brand will do well by doing good because Millennials want to associate with do-gooder brands.

Why does your brand need Millennials? Because they currently represent $1.3 trillion in consumer spending!

About the author